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Re: Long, long last gasp. (fwd)

On Thursday 29 Jan 2004 5:55 am, Dann Pigdon wrote:
> "Jaime A. Headden" wrote:
> > John Bois (jbois@umd5.umd.edu) wrote:
> >
> > <Bats are easy targets for diurnal birds in the daylight--I don't
> > think I can find the ref. but some sinister researcher released
> > bats in the daylight. They scrambled for cover but nevertheless
> > many of them were hit by kookaburra.>
> >
> >   Ooo. Kookaburra are nasty birds altogether and highly
> > territorial, so no wonder. Try this in North America, or Europe.
> Some of the smaller raptors (kites, etc) will prey on bats. In fact,
> in some places they circle around the exits of bat caves around dusk,
> to take advantage of the time when there is enough light for them to
> hunt by, but not so much that bats don't feel comfortable leaving the
> cave. Snakes will also literally hang around cave entrances,
> snatching bats from the air at dusk.
Its not all one way traffic. Some bats also prey on birds.

Ibáñez C, Juste J, García-Mudarra J L, Agirre-Mendi P T
Bat predation on nocturnally migrating birds
PNAS 2001; 98: 9700-2


Bat predation on birds is a very rare phenomenon in nature. Most 
documented reports of bird-eating bats refer to tropical bats that 
occasionally capture resting birds. Millions of small birds concentrate 
and cross over the world's temperate regions during migration, mainly 
at night, but no nocturnal predators are known to benefit from this 
enormous food resource. An analysis of 14,000 fecal pellets of the 
greater noctule bat (Nyctalus lasiopterus) reveals that this species 
captures and eats large numbers of migrating passerines, making it the 
only bat species so far known that regularly preys on birds. The 
echolocation characteristics and wing morphology of this species 
strongly suggest that it captures birds in flight.


Gautam Majumdar

Please send e-mails to gmajumdar@freeuk.com